Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 and its potential cardiovascular toxicity: Hero or villain?

Bugra Han Egeli, Jeffrey A. Sparks, Alfred H.J. Kim, Jean W. Liew

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A variety of treatment modalities have been investigated since the beginning of the Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. The use of antimalarials (hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine) for COVID-19 treatment and prevention has proven to be a cautionary tale for widespread, off-label use of a medication during a crisis. The investigation of antimalarials for COVID-19 has also been a driver for a deluge of scientific output in a short amount of time. In this narrative review, we detail the evidence for and against antimalarial use in COVID-19, starting with the early small observational studies that influenced strategies worldwide. We then contrast these findings to later published larger observational studies and randomized controlled trials. We detail the emerging possible cardiovascular risks associated with antimalarial use in COVID-19 and whether COVID-19-related outcomes and cardiovascular risks may differ for antimalarials used in rheumatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101658
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Antimalarials
  • COVID-19
  • Chloroquine
  • Coronavirus
  • Hydroxychloroquine


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